Asda has reported an increase in sales during the third quarter of 2020, which coincided with the end of the first UK-wide lockdown.
The Walmart-owned supermarket saw like-for-like sales over the period increase by 2.7 per cent (excluding fuel).
Asda said its growth during the period was driven by strong performance in core grocery, back to school clothing and online shopping, with combined net sales for Asda.com and George.com increasing by 72 per cent year-on-year.
The supermarket says it expects this “rapid growth” in online shopping to continue during Q4 and has increased capacity of its grocery home shopping service to 765,000 weekly slots in response. Asda has also extended its delivery partnerships trial with Uber Eats from 50 to 100 stores.
Asda said it is already seeing a surge in demand for Christmas products and ‘lockdown proof’ festive essentials as customers start their preparations earlier than in previous years. Sales of Christmas trees have increased by 83 per year-on-year, festive lights by 57 per cent, Christmas puddings by 71 per cent and mince pies by 44 per cent.
Roger Burnley, Asda CEO & President, said: “After a rollercoaster year it’s clear our customers are already planning for a very different Christmas. We have already seen a marked shift in buying patterns with customers stocking up their freezers and cupboards with festive essentials earlier than ever before, which suggests they are getting used to expecting the unexpected but preparing to enjoy themselves as much as possible. Whatever happens during the next few weeks, we are totally focused on delivering a great Christmas for our customers during these uncertain times.”
Asda continued to accelerate its in-store partnerships strategy during the quarter by joining forces with B&Q to trial four compact DIY stores within its Asda’s superstores, with the first two opening in Sheffield and Dagenham later this year. Asda also recently announced an exclusive trial partnership with leading toy retailer The Entertainer and expanded its current trial partnership with MusicMagpie to 36 stores (see Direct Commerce news story).
The acquisition of Asda by the Issa brothers and TDR capital remains on track to complete in H1 2021 subject to regulatory approval.